Drug testing

Coping With A Funeral

When the death of a loved one occurs, regardless or whether it was expected or not, you will find yourself having to deal with a great number of people. Some you will know closely, others may be complete strangers; all will be claiming some kind of relationship to the deceased.

Whilst grieving for your loved one you may find yourself not wanting contact with anybody other than those to whom you are closest. Having to deal with so many people can be very difficult so it's important to understand how to handle them.

Relatives and Close Friends

Those who were close to the deceased need to be contacted before the funeral. When you break the news, remember that they will also need the chance to express their grief and this must be respected, no matter how deeply distressed you are feeling yourself.

Sometimes it can be difficult, if not impossible, to trace certain family members. Don't feel guilty if you've not been able to contact all of them.

Some of those who you'll need to contact may be people who you do not know personally. If they come to the funeral and you have not been able to speak to them properly it would be a good idea to write or telephone them later, to thank them for attending.

The Small Funeral

Perhaps you have decided on a small funeral, either through your own personal preference or because the deceased made their own preference clear. Perhaps the financial side of the funeral will force you into this decision. Make the decision clear and stick to it.

You may find that some friends or relatives insist on attending even after you've explained this to them. Be polite but firm. Explain that you appreciate their wish to attend, but that it is a family decision to enforce such a restriction. If they still insist, they are simply being insensitive and you may have to take a different approach. You might tell them that the date of the funeral has not yet been decided and leave things at that. Whatever you do, don't allow anyone to emotionally blackmail you into changing your decision. And don't feel guilty if you need to lie. They are being insensitive, and you are simply trying to deal with matters as best you can.

Polite Conversation

Unless the funeral is very small it will probably be impossible for you to speak to all of the attendees. Don't even try. Most people will understand that you are not going to feel like making polite conversation. You will find that those will any degree of sensitivity will simply approach you, kiss your cheek/shake your hand and offer their condolences. They will not expect more than you are able to offer.

The Wake

Most people organize some form of refreshment after the funeral. This can be a good way of accepting condolences from those you were unable to speak with during the actual service. By offering refreshments you are showing that you are willing to share your grief with those who are also suffering through their own loss.

Enlist the help of a friend or two. You may feel that you will be able to cope but having support close by will be very helpful should you find that you are feeling too upset to appear.

The Will

It's an unfortunate fact that funerals can often bring out the worst in people. Some of the most long-lasting family arguments have started at a funeral, with squabbles over who should get what. You may find yourself surprised at just who is able to throw themselves into such arguments, even though they are in the midst of their own grief.

You may find yourself being quizzed at the graveside. People can be very clever in their approach, offering condolences and then adding the innocent question of what the deceased has left to whom. You may also find yourself the target of malicious comments regarding your 'improved financial situation'. There can be more hidden rivalry within families than most would imagine.

You mustn't allow yourself to be drawn into arguments. Simply pretend to ignore any unwanted comments and questions. If they persist, explain that you are far too upset to think about such matters at the moment and that if they've been mentioned in the will then they will be contacted in due course.

In the case of a will never having been made and where there is any disagreement regarding who has the right to what, explain that you will appoint a solicitor to handle the estate and explain, as above, that they will be contacted in due course.

The Following Days

Some people find themselves terribly alone in the days following the funeral, whereas others feel that they never have any time to themselves to grieve. Remember that others cannot read your mind anymore than you can read theirs, they're simply doing what they believe to be right.

If they choose to stay away, they are probably doing so out of respect for your privacy. If they choose to spend as much time as possible with you, this will be because they fear for your ability to cope alone. Explain to them what your needs are. If you need people around you, phone some friends and ask them to visit. If you need to be alone, explain this politely and ask if you may phone them should you need their company. You'll find that most people are very accommodating as long as they understand your needs.

The loss of a loved one is never easy and nobody will ever expect it to be. For some the funeral seems to pass as just a hazy memory, leaving a feeling of guilt at not remembering the details of this last farewell. Remember that it's the memories you have of the person when alive that are important, and it's these that will remain clear to you in the future. During deep grief it can be very difficult to grasp details of what's happening but this does not mean you didn't care. Quite the opposite in fact.

About The Author

Sharon grew up in East London but moved to Norway at the age of 19, returning to England in 1998. She now lives in Cheshire with her partner and two of her three children. Besides writing, she is currently studying Social Science with The Open University, runs a web site where women in the UK can meet other women for platonic friendship (www.friendsyourway.co.uk), potters in her garden, knits and reads everything she comes over.

s.jacobsen@friendsyourway.co.uk

limousine chicago service
In The News:

Then and Now

Over one hundred years ago, during the Victorian era, death... Read More

Learning to Live Again

Overcoming death and beginning once again to live is the... Read More

Whens Sarah Coming Home? Helping Your Child Understand Death

For most children, their first experience with grief comes with... Read More

Men and Grief

Men grieve differently from women. Our cultural roles make it... Read More

Moving Beyond Grief and Loss

In my work as a coach and therapist, I have... Read More

Sympathy Messages

The loss of a loved one. It is often difficult... Read More

Coping with Grief - Its Called Living Through It

"Dad, I tried to wake Nana, I think she's dead."... Read More

Grief

I didn't know a heart could die before it stopped... Read More

Grief Support: The Dos

Helpers often ask questions such as: "What should I do?... Read More

Tenderizing

Recently, the magazine I own and edit got a hate... Read More

A Critical Assessment of Euthanasia

The question of whether, say, a man should have the... Read More

Who has the Worst Pain

During the 28 years I have been interacting with bereaved... Read More

On Empathy

The Encyclopaedia Britannica (1999 edition) defines empathy as:"The ability to... Read More

You Can Help A Grieving Heart

Oh, we can talk about the best cold medications and... Read More

The Grief And Belief Connection

"Grief is healing: To take away our grief is to... Read More

How To Write A Eulogy

Remembering someone special in a personal way can be healing... Read More

In the Blink of an Eye

Today's Quote: "My house is burned down, but I can... Read More

Trial by Fire - 9 Tips for Grieving Couples

You will often hear that grief and loss bring couples... Read More

Adapting to the Loss of a Loved One: Three Tips on how to Cope

Have you ever sat down and played a piano where... Read More

The Walking Wounded

When my phone rang the other day, it was a... Read More

Angel of Comfort... The Story

I am an Angel artist and several weeks ago while... Read More

Good Grief!

If tears are an indication of how special my relationship... Read More

We are the Reflection of our Lives: How to Survive Loss & Humility

Everyday, I look in the mirror to see the face... Read More

If Ever It Is Me

With my father, his brother and their father having had... Read More

Suicide in the Church Part 1

Recently, several suicides have occurred right here in my own... Read More

led parking lot induction street light bulbs Pete's produce ..